Road-tripping with friends is part of growing up, but embarking on a dog-friendly road trip with your furry friend in tow can provide the same great experience.
You and your dog can enjoy a travel experience with the proper planning and preparation. Venture to places that will delight both of you — a new city, quirky roadside towns, or secluded natural havens.
Remember your route, accommodations, packing gear, and safety standards. Here are some tips to help you plan and prepare for an adventurous, dog-friendly road trip:
Plan your route
Set up your itinerary about a month ahead of time.
Even if you want your trip to be more loose and spontaneous, knowing the general route is good. You can plan your route to the nearest mile using vehicle route optimization software, Google Maps, or a physical map — whatever works best for you.
Check the road and weather conditions of your destinations. In addition, make sure you have some gas stations and pit stops scoped out so you and your pup can stretch your legs.
If your dog is in the cramped car for too long, it may be more prone to have an accident in the vehicle.
Choose destinations that you and your dog can both enjoy. Make sure parks are dog friendly, and find some off-leash zones where your pup can run around and burn off some energy.
When traveling with your furry best friend, ensure you have pet-friendly accommodations. Many hotels have become more pet-friendly, typically for an extra fee.
Kimpton Hotels, for example, are dedicated to accommodating their guests’ pets and offer amenities specifically for your dog. You can also go the more rustic route and camp in a tent.
Campsites are very dog-friendly, as they offer ample space within nature. However, while at a camp, ensure your dog is secure in the car or tent to protect them from predatory wildlife.
If you’re camping in a state park or private campground, visit the location’s website or call ahead to ensure it’s a good spot for you and your pup.
Make sure you pack accordingly for your dog.
Bring along a whole roll of poop pick-up bags to responsibly dispose of your dog’s waste. In addition, make sure you have enough food for your dog.
Use a container for pet food with a secure lid, so your dog won’t loosen it and overeat. Bring collapsible, quick-dry water dishes that you can keep neatly packed and carry in your day bag for any adventures away from the car.
If you’re in a remote area with limited access to fresh water, bring along a water purification system.
Don’t let your dog drink water treated with iodine purification pills, as iodine is poisonous to dogs.
Instead, invest in a SteriPEN, which uses UV-C light rays to quickly and efficiently destroy bacteria, protozoa, and viruses from crude water.
Make sure you are in the know about the rules of the road.
Each state has different driving laws about dogs on your lap while driving.
Secure your dog with a pet seat belt or safety harness for extra protection if an accident occurs.
Wherever your dog sits, ensure they aren’t in an area that will deploy airbags, as their abrupt impact will severely injure your beloved buddy.